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How do I engage in sex when my wife has no desire?

My spouse has lost all desire to have sex. It's like she is asexual now. I don't know if she had cheated a few years ago, but her loss of desire and interest seemed to follow a lot of clues she did cheat. (There was a lot of smoke but no smoking gun.)  It's not like I have that much attraction for her anymore because we're in our 50's now and our bodies as the not what they were, but I still desire the excitement of making love. It is possible she  has a hormonal imbalance in they get menopause started in her late 30's and lasted until she was about 44 years old.
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Avatar universal
This a very tough question, and I can sympathize. I’m in a similar situation myself. It seems like many women (not all, of course) lose all interest in sex either at or after menopause. I’ve read that some have had success with hormone balancing. Believe it or not, women’s bodies make small amounts of the male hormone Testosterone, which has a significant effect on libido, and some have benefitted from receiving small doses of ‘T’, with a Dr’s supervision, of course.

Also, the vaginal tissues tend to thin & sort of ‘dry up’ later in life, making intercourse very painful. Some Dr’s prescribe Estrogen cream to be applied directly to the tissues & that may help in some cases. If this is the case, you also need to use a lot of lube to reduce any friction that might irritate her.

You could also ask your wife if she’d be up for other sexual activities not involving intercourse - manual or oral stimulation. Some couples enjoy various forms of mutual masturbation, either each partner stimulating themselves at the same time, or each stimulating the other. Or they could take turns, one bringing their partner to orgasm, then the other returning the favor. Or yet another option - one partner masturbates while they kiss & hold each other. So there are many non-intercourse ways to enjoy sex with your partner.  If her loss of interest is due to painful intercourse, these types of activities might be a solution.

If she just has no desire at all to even try any of this, you may just have to masturbate. It used to be thought that masturbation was just a poor substitute for ‘real sex’, but as it has become more acceptable, we’ve begun to realize that it can co-exist along with good partner sex or can be used to balance out desires when one partner has a more frequent need. I compare it to steak vs. a hamburger - most times, if someone asked ‘Would you rather have a big, juicy steak or a burger?’, you wdn’t hesitate to pick the steak! But if I had steak every day, at some point I might think ‘Ya know what? I’m not in the mood to get dressed & go out to a nice restaurant, and anyway, I just don’t have a taste for steak at the moment. Right now I could just go for a good burger’ - is there smthg wrong with that? I don’t think so!  So never think of masturbation as a substitute for ‘real sex’ - it IS real sex, just a different VARIEtY of sex...

I know some women don’t like the idea of their husband or BF masturbating, but it’s my personal opinion that she should be understanding of your needs & if she’s not willing to help out, you shdn’t really be blamed for taking matters into your own hands. You could say, ‘Look, it’s obvious you don’t want sex anymore, but I still do. I’m asking you to be OK with me masturbating when I feel the need’. Then of course, establish some ground rules - she may not want to be present & would rather you do so in private, but some women are OK if their partner does it with them present...

But talk all of this out first  - and not when you’re in the bedroom, getting ready to try smthg. Instead, have a no finger-pointing, unemotional discussion, approach it as a ’couples prblm’ that both of you can work on together to fix...

Best of luck to you & your wife - hope you can find a solution. You’re definitely not alone in this - it’s a very common problem...
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After re-reading my answer, I realized that you mentioned your wife may have cheated in the past. I certainly didn't meant to ignore or to minimize that aspect. Sex is much more than just a physical desire for most women - it goes hand in hand with other aspects of the relationship, and when those suffer, usually the sex does as well. It's possible she feels so much guilt over this that it's the reason she has no desire for sex. So another avenue you might want to consider is some counseling - maybe putting this issue in the past (I know it's extremely difficult) could rekindle some old feelings of love & attraction, which could open up better communication on sexual issues...
207091 tn?1337709493
My first thought is if you've asked her. I don't mean accuse or confront, but just gently say, "I miss being intimate with you. It seems as if you aren't interested in that any more. Is that correct?" Then listen, calmly, to what she says.

It could be hormones, she may sense your distrust of her, she may feel guilt, or there may be something in your relationship that makes her not want you in the least any longer. If I hadn't cheated, and you kept asking me if I had, that would make me feel decidedly less attracted to you.

Bonzo is right, as usual - there are other things to try than penetration, and tissues get thin, making certain things uncomfortable.  If it's just straight to penetration, that might not work.

So I'm seconding the counseling suggestion. If nothing else, it will help you communicate.
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Oh, good point about the cheating thing - if in fact she did NOT cheat & was offended at that accusation, that could definitely cause problems in the relationship, which would likely carry over into the sexual aspect...
Avatar universal
So sorry you are dealing with this. Menopause can certainly lead to lack of desire. You did not mention her having had a hysterectomy so I assume she did not? However, hysterectomy is done much more commonly than is necessary and even when the ovaries (gonads) are not removed, many women experience sexual dysfunction - lack of desire, arousal and ability to orgasm.
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